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Chiu 30, Wiener 13, Campos 11, Chu 11, San Francisco 11, Avalos 8, Kim 7, Us 7, Elsbernd 6, Cohen 6, Olague 5, Farrell 5, Mar 4, Ramos 4, Lee 2, Mta 1, Stp 1, The Transit Riders Union 1, Tidf 1, United States Of America 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    December 8, 2012
    3:00 - 3:30am PST  

3:00am
>> president chiu: good afternoon. welcome to the san francisco board of supervisors meeting of tuesday, december 4, 2012. madam clerk, could you please call the roll. >> clerk calvillo: supervisor av logs, present. supervisor campos, present. president chiu, present. supervisor chu, present. supervisor cohen, present. supervisor elsbernd, present. supervisor ferrell, present. supervisor kim, absent. supervisor mar, present. supervisor olague, present. supervisor wiener, present.
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mr. president, you have a quorum. >> president chiu: thank you. ladies and gentlemen, could you please join us in the pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the united states of america to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> president chiu: colleagues, we have october 16, 2012 board meeting minutes. could i have a motion to approve. motion by supervisor campos, suggested by supervisor chu. those are approved. madam clerk, are there any communications? >> clerk calvillo: there are no communications. >> president chiu: could you read the consent agenda. >> clerk calvillo: items 1 through 12 are considered routine. if a member would like to discuss an item it shall be removed and considered separately. >> president chiu: would anyone like to sever any of these items? roll call vote on items 1 through 12. >> clerk calvillo: supervisor mar, aye.
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supervisor olague, aye. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, aye. supervisor campos, aye. president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, absent. there are 10 ayes. >> president chiu: those ordinances are finally passed, motions approved. madam clerk -- colleagues, if it's okay -- supervisor kim just arrived. if you could call item 13. >> clerk calvillo: an ordinance appropriating approximately 2.7 million of state reserves for the san francisco unified school district for fiscal year 2012-13. >> president chiu: supervisor kim. >> supervisor kim: thank you. we're working on drafting additional amendments to this ordinance so could we continue this to a later portion of this
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meeting? >> president chiu: without objection, we will continue it to later in the meeting. why don't we call item 14. >> clerk calvillo: an ordinance amending the police code to prohibit nudity on public streets, sidewalks, street medians and public rights of way, and stops except as permitted in parades and festivals. >> president chiu: discussion? roll call vote. >> clerk calvillo: item 14, supervisor mar, no. supervisor olague, no. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, no. supervisor campos, no. president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, aye. there are seven ayes and four nos. >> president chiu: the ordinance is finally passed. item -- colleagues, i ask that
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we temporarily recess this meeting. >> (meeting is in recess. >> president chiu: let's resume our meeting. madam clerk, could you please call item 15. >> clerk calvillo: item 15 is an ordinance amending the building code to reduce square footage requirement for efficiency requirements pursuant to california health and safety code. did you want me to read item 18? >> president chiu: yes. >> clerk calvillo: an ordinance amending planning code regarding efficiency units in open space requirements. >> president chiu: colleagues, unless there's discussion, let's take a roll call vote on these two items. >> clerk calvillo: on items 15 and 18, supervisor mar, aye, olague, no.
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supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, no. supervisor campos, aye. president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, aye. there are nine ayes and two nos. >> president chiu: the ordinance is finally passed. next item. >> the clerk: item 16 is an ordinance amending the administrative code to monitor san francisco's housing preservation and production policies and goals and making the requisite findings. >> supervisor chiu: roll call vote. >> clerk calvillo: item 16, supervisor mar, aye. supervisor olague, aye. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, aye. supervisor campos, aye. president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye.
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supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, aye. there are 11 ayes. >> president chiu: the ordinance is finally passed. supervisor avalos. >> supervisor avalos: thank you, president chiu. i would like a motion to rescind item 18. i accidently voted in favor of the cap last week and am willing to do that this week but i will keep my vote on the current -- on the current on no. 15. 18, if we could rescind the vote and revote on that. >> president chiu: colleagues, a motion to rescind the vote on item 18. is there a second? seconded by supervisor chu. without objection that vote is rescinded. let's take a roll call vote on item 18. >> clerk calvillo: on item 18, supervisor mar, aye. supervisor olague, aye. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, aye.
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supervisor campos, aye. president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, aye. >> clerk calvillo: there are 11 ayes. >> president chiu: that ordinance is finally passed. >> clerk calvillo: item 17 an ordinance amending the planning code adding a new section to increase transit development fee rates, revise exemptions and credits and verify implementation and collection. >> president chiu: supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: colleagues, today we have before us the required five year renewal and refresh of the transit impact development fee, tidf. this is legally required every five years and we are approximately one year past due on it so we need to enact this legislation. tidf is a critical funding of san francisco. it recognizes when real estate
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occurs that exacerbates that puts traffic and strain on muni the developer should pay an impact fee that supports transit. we've always imposed that fee on for-profit enterprises but unlike other development fees we provided blanket exemptions to nonprofits like hospitals, university camposes, major museums and large private schools. no matter what their impact, they don't pay any of the fee. right now, as a small business builds a new building, depending on the size it pays, if a high school or private does so and generates more traffic it pays nothing. the update acknowledges a transit fee is not wander for each and -- warranted for each and every -- by way of contact as i think you know our public transportation system in it san francisco is dramatically
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underfunded. we have 420 million in the deferred vehicle maintenance, vehicles break down, we don't have any spare light rail vehicles. seemingly unending signal and switch failures. muni riders see this every day. packed trains, broken doors, buses that don't arrive, flows of commuter walking down market street like last night because of yet another subway meltdown. this is muni right now. chronically underfunded with decades of underinvestment and maintenance and infrastructure and we are paying the price in a very big way. according to spur, we have a $is00 million -- 100 million annual operating deficit structure and the need will grow over time. we have a growing population and growing transit needs. we are supposedly a transit first city where we want people out of their cars. not only do we need to shore up what we have we need to expand
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service significantly. now, funding is not muni's only challenge. we need continued work reform, salary efficiencies, implementation of the transit effectiveness project, and mta is moving in a good direction in those areas. but muni's chronic severe underfunding is a key part of muni's challenges. we're at a crossroads in san francisco in terms of investing in our system, and to be frank, we're not meeting that challenge. and what i seen is that when it comes to any funding place, muni loses. it is not high on city hall's priority list for funding. and hundreds of thousands of people who rely on muni every day lose as a result. we see this in various ways, for example the free muni for youth debate is one example. the school district reduced its own transportation program and the city decided to make up for that cut by providing free
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transit. and where did that money come from? it came directly out of muni, not from another source, not from the general fund, it maim from muni. sfpd niedz funding for traffic enforcement, muni paid for it. we have opportunity to stop muni subsidizing large traffic impacting development in san francisco. colleagues i urge you to join me in supporting this critical muni funding. now when i'm done with my remarks today supervisor elsbernd will offer an amendment to reinstate the blanket nonprofit exemption which has been removed from the legislation before you today. so that large -- even large institutions like hospitals and large schools can continue to have a blanket exemption from these fees. i acknowledge that amendment is likely to pass. i don't agree with it. why would the board of supervisors support a blanket exemption to allow even the
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largest nonprofit development to avoid paying transit impact fees. unlike any other fee. let's talk about the legislation and the proposed elimination of a blanket exemption. this legislation went through a lengthy planning and mta process for a period of years. when it came to the board, i along with supervisor olague and mayor lee took over sponsorship a number of months ago. shortly after that, there were some concerns raised by the hospital council, which had not -- did not want hospitals to pay the impact fee. chamber of commerce got involved, and other nonprofits got involved, even a number who, to my knowledge, have never and will never do real estate development or pay tidf. there were quite a few misunderstandings about what tidf was and wasn't. some nonprofits thought it was an annual tax.
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some thought it was remodeling for earthquake retrofits. it is not. there is an assertion the city will end up paying this from other departments because of nonprofits who are funded by the city. i don't believe that to be the case since the city, other than affordable housing, does not typically fund capital work by nonprofits and affordable housing is not included in the tidf. over the past three months, i have continued this item four times in order to address these concerns, to talk through the issues, to answer questions, and to have dialogue. i, and others, have engaged in innumerable meetings with individual nonprofits, groups of nonprofits, with the chamber of commerce, with the hospital council, to address the concerns particularly relating to smaller and mid-sized nonprofit projects, in order to address that concern, i offered a very significant compromise of an exemption for nonprofit projects up to 25,000 square feet.
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to put that in context the office max on hairsson street -- harrison street is approximately 25,000 feet, that is a large building. unfortunately the response i got back was not positive and was an indication that the opponents did not want to negotiate on this at all. there was a firm adherence to a full exemption, even for the largest nonprofit real estate developments with significant traffic and transit impacts. the opposition culminated in a letter that you received, colleagues, with a return address to the chamber of commerce, and signed by a number of nonprofits as well. this blanket opposition in my view is very unfortunate and does a disservice to good transit policy in san francisco. i don't have any illusions as i noted about the result of today's vote. the support appears to be there to reinstate the blanket nonprofit exemption, even for large developments. no one has been able to explain
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to me why this blanket exemption is warranted and why transit should be treated differently in san francisco which nonprofits pay. we see intense lobbying effort on this between the chamber of commerce and hospital on one hand and the human network and nonprofits on the other. and once again muni funding loses. i want to thank the san francisco bike coalition, walk sf, transform, the transit riders union, rescue muni and other advocates for their staunch support on ensuring all transit impacting developments, including large nonprofit profits pay this impact fee. with all that said i want to know that we also have currently in an eir the transit sustainability project which i am also cosponsoring with supervisor olague and mayor lee. we had a meeting last week, the
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mayor and i, with a number of nonprofits and transit advocates, and we all committed to each other that over the next year, we're going to work very closely together in a very collaborative and transparent way to enact psp, which will replace the tidf. and so i want to just reiterate to those folks who don't agree with me on this that i continue to be very committed to that. we intend to start convening meetings in january, and i look forward to that process. now, two quick things. first, we distributed technical amendments, which i believe are non-controversial, to the tidf before supervisor elsbernd offers his amendment. and i would ask that we accept those amendments. i also want to invite the mta to come up. and i think - think -- ramos fre board of directors is here on behalf of the department. i would like to ask director ramos to explain the importance
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of the tidf for transit funding in san francisco. director ramos. >> thank you, supervisor scott wiener, and president chiu, and board of supervisors. really wanted to express our sincere interest in seeing this revision passed. we can't say enough about how bad our system is suffering. for those of you that were stuck on the collapse of the system last night, if that's not proof to you, i don't know what is. we can no longer continue on with the status quo of exempting these large institutions that put such a strain on the system. granted, we support their services. i have only worked for nonprofits my entire life -- working career, i should say and understand how important they are to our economy and to our city. but at the same time, the very
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at the lot at the transbay terminal for example really have an impact on our system. and without some way to have them pay their fair share, there is no way that we're going to be able to accommodate the growth in our city, and accommodating more folks on transit. living out in supervisor elsbernd's district, riding the n, we still see buses that are -- annex, for example, is at capacity. supervisor chiu chu, i know you get regular switchbacks, missed runs, overcrowded buses, all these things happen when we underfund our system. we certainly hope that you recognize the great work that has happened here that's before you, that we can take advantage of the opportunity and recognize that we have to do way more with a whole lot less, streams from the federal government and the state government have dried up or are drying up.
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opportunities like this, creative, innovative ways to find funding and support our system that so desperately needs it are going to be few and far between. so that much being said, i thank you for your time and your energy. i look forward to working with all of you in this, and in other transportation decisions to come. thank you. >> president chiu: thank you. supervisor wiener had some technical amendments on the floor. is there a to that? second by supervisor chu. colleagues, any objection to those amendments? those amendments are included. supervisor elsbernd. >> supervisor elsbernd: thank you, mr. president. before i address supervisor wiener, just to respond to director ramos, who decided to single me out there, you know, as you talk about the need for us to do more with less from the various streams of money, just remind you of your vote earlier today about the less streams of money with mtc money, on you that money that could have gone for entire maintenance issues is no longer going for maintenance
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issues. as you reminded us what happened within the last 48 hours with the mta system and lack of feeferredeferred maintenance mo. that said to supervisor wiener's ordinance i thank supervisor wiener for his patience with me on this issue. this is something he and i have been discussing now for the last three or four months. i'd like to give explanation for why i stand in a little bit of opposition to him today, not something i typically do and i've found i've got miess some allies on this in my eight years they've never been allies but they are today. the root cause of my concern here, i spent -- yes, supervisor, i'm talking about you. the root cause of my concern come from some very personal experience, and that is the significant amount of personal fundraising i have done for two private schools in my district. these schools, parochial
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schools, that have barely middle class students, frankly lower middle class students, decided to build gyms bigger 25,000 square feet. these are big buildings. they don't get money from the city, from the state, from the federal government, they don't get money from the archdiocese. the money that is used to build these all comes from the pockets of the families there. and attaching and extra fee that would cost thousands and thousands of dollars to that project is the kind of thing that could tip a project over. a lot of these projects, i well know, are still in debt. some of the parishes on the west side are still in a massive debt because of their project to enhance their services. and genuinely, i think an argument can be made that these gyms that are not tripp enhancers, they are not like the hospitals. i'm here standing up offering an amendment for the hospitals. you're right, supervisor wiener,
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the hospitals should be paying this fee. they are trip generators that nonprofit housing folks that i'm about to offer also concerns me, they are trip generators. but today is not the day to pick should pay the fee and which shouldn't. that is not an appropriate place at the board but should happen through your tsp discussion as you were doing the full eir analysis, the full analysis of this, who pays and who shouldn't, just doing the refresher of the tidf should be nothing more than a refresher. to have a complete policy change in this legislation would be a mistake. so with that as my intro, for my justification as to why i think we need to do this, i do not ask the city attorney to prepare the written language because frankly untangling it would have led toé a -- manner and the intent here is to offer an amendment that
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would replace the proposed language back with our current language so that all nonprofits will remain exempt from this tidf fee. that is my motion. >> president chiu: supervisor elsbernd has made the motion as he's described. is there a second to that motion? seconded by supervisor avalos. campos. >> supervisor campos: thank you very much. i want to begin by thanking supervisor wiener and the mta for taking on this issue. i agree that this is something that has to be looked at, and i don't know that i have any disagreement with the general principles and concept that has been laid out. you know, we wantqqjyv everyoneo have -- take some responsibility for the impact that they have and their projects have on transit. the issue for me is not so much the substance of what's before us. i may very well agree with what
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we have before us. but the question is what is the best process to actually get to a change in what happens on this matter, specifically what happens to the nonprofito%(hyf exemption that we're talking about. and i really believe that the transportation sustainability program, theç$( ]5 tsp, is actuy the proper process that will allow for us to make these kinds of changes. let us remember that one of the things that is supposed top6jqsç happen under the tsp is to actually replace the transit impact development fee that we are voting on today. that is supposed to bepúph"t red by the stp. -- tsp. if we are to make the policy changes through the tsp process we need to make the substantive change on the tidf today. and so i also want to be clear that there may be some folks who
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are opposed to what supervisor wiener is proposing today because they may be oppose happening. and while i respect that view, i don't share that view. i do think that we need to revisit these issues. but again it's not so much what we do but how we do it. and i do believe that we owe it to making sure that we follow the process that has been laid out on the tsp to include this in that discussion and that's what i look forward to doing. and i could not agree more that we need to make sure that we do everything we can to increase funding for public transportation, and a number of us have been working to make that happen, not eenel here local -- only here locally but also at the regional level. we as a body, through the county transportation authority not too funding to increase service by muni. and i don't know that anyone here, on this board, isn't committed to doing everything we can to make sure that that
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system has the resources it needs. that's not the question here. the question is how we do it and i think tsp provides the opportunity to make that happen. >> president chiu: supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: thank you. thank you supervisor elsbernd and campos for your comments. i agree with supervisor campos that everyone is at least theoretically committed to supporting muni funding and reliability. it's like mom and apple pie. but we cast real votes and make real policy decisions and actions do speak louder than words. so i know everyone here is committed, but the question is can we make the hard political choices to actually show that commitment by adequately funding muni. there will always, always be otherñ$nzném important policy ur muni funds. so that's really the question. and supervisor campos, i look forward to working with you in
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the next year, to hold folks accountable so that when people maybe comee (2 forward and maybe aren't as committed to changing the exemption next year, we can remind them that that is direction where we want to go. i just want a few points in response to supervisor elsbernd. you know, supervisor elsbernd knows i have been one of the most vocal folks expressing concern about the free muni program, about using that money for free muni instead of for maintenance. and i think it was not the right decision by mta but with that said the decision was made and we have a funding choice here to make. in terms of, you know, an auditorium or something that might be greater than 25,000 square feet, the problem here is that no one ever even wanted to negotiate. i put the 25,000 square foot number out there. if you made it 30, 40, or 45
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square feet, we can talk. it was always no. that's been the sort of frustration here. and then in terms of selecting different nonprofits, we all know that everyone has their favorite group of nonprofits. some people will, you know, really want to support and help the private schools. others, the social service providers, or affordable housers, or any other -- or the museums. everyone has their sort of favorite group of nonprofits about which they're passionate. you start stripping them away all of a sudden you're left with nothing and you have trip generators that are not paying the tidf. with respect to the tidf versus the tidf. this is not just a refresh in a way that we make something look pretty. there was a full nexus study done. now is the appropriate time to make the policy choice.
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thank you, colleagues. supervisor chu. >> supervisor chu: i want to associate my comments with supervisor elsbernd. we hear about the need by mta about needing to invest in infrastructure yet the decisions are not with that priority. i want to associate myself with those comments. i think we need to make a significant investment in muni. we need to take a visit to some of the facilities that mta has, but also to see some of the performance we've seen in this recent weekend, albeit that there was a natural occurrence of storm and other things that complicated the situation. the amendment before us today has to do with exempting out nonprofits. i thought long and hard about this and